Friday, April 10, 2009

Reflections on This Lent Thing

Things aren't as they appear to be.

If there is one "lesson" that's screamed at me consistently during this Lenten season, it's that sentence, that observation, that fact, that state of mind.

Bad pretends to be good.  Good, however, is hard.  And painful.  And thankless.  And inconvenient.  Which makes it bad to those of us accustomed to the easy life.

Good Friday is anything but good.  Or so it appears to be.

The desert is anything but good.  Or so it appears to be.

Lent, like life on earth, is a journey.  Or so it appears to be.

Lent has turned out to be a lot more like Scripture than a journey for me.  It's a practice.  A discipline.  Let's face it, a chore.  Kind of like creative writing.  It glistens in the storefront window, but requires ongoing maintenance once at home.

But the more I've glimpsed God through the eyes of Lent, the more I've realized how much more there is to see.  And I want to see more.

Lent is a beginning.

Easter is a beginning.

Heck, each day is a beginning.

That's the joy of life in Christ.  No matter how many times I fall, there is always a new beginning, a second chance.  I don't have to be imprisoned by the fear of failure or humiliation, since my life is not about me.

And as devastating, frustrating, painful, horrific and unbearable life is or becomes (and it will), this discipline of seeing the familiar in unfamiliar ways will offer others, if not myself, hope for a new beginning.  If not today, maybe tomorrow.  (Or maybe the third day.)

My hope is that Lent has not been what it appeared to be for you.  My hope is that it has changed you a little each day.

It has for me.

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